To be honest, I don’t really enjoy skate premieres as much as I’d like to. Most of the time I’d rather be watching the video at home with my 2 or 3 closest friends instead of sitting in a theatre worrying about who I did or didn’t say hi to. But this premiere was a bit different. It was so massive and so elaborate, that it felt like a different type of spectacle altogether.
I’m not even talking about the skating (which doesn’t really need to be hyped up because, well, look at the team list, they’re all top notch). The premiere had pretty much everything you’ve come to expect from a big budget shindig – thousands (yes, thousands!) of kids, hypebeasts, industry heads, and media moguls were there to eat free popcorn and chug expensive beers while some very good skateboarding happened onscreen. I even saw a couple of three-striped clad supermodels trying to talk their way past an overwhelmed Cairo Foster who was running the show at the door – or at least trying to.
I don’t want to give any spoilers away (though you know that Daewon and MJ are now on the team), but I will say that the video got the crowd so hyped that a bunch of kids got arrested afterwards for skating in the street outside of the theater. Check out some photos from the premiere and pre-party below…
You might not immediately recognize this bunch compared to some of the big personalities in the other photos, but there’s nothing ordinary about these people. To the left, we have Matt Milligan, a super talented skater from Florida who rode for companies like Axion and New Deal. In the middle we have Uli, owner of everyone’s favorite bar, Max Fish. And on the right is JZ, who is directing the Arizona Ice Tea program and got them involved in skate. He also is helping with Adidas stuff in NYC. You also might recognize him as the guy who wears the Mercedes emblem around his neck at all times.
Cairo Foster and skater / Max Fish’er Marc Razo looking pretty at the Adidas photo show party the day before the premiere. Has Cairo ever had a beard? Or has anyone ever seen him with facial hair? There was a really funny skit at the end of Kings of Promotion, “How to start your own skateboard company” where they suggest disguising your favorite skater, and making a sponsor me tape with him to get lots of free product from other companies. Not that he needs product but just slap shades and a beard on Cairo and no one will know!
This was by far the biggest skate premiere event I’ve been to in New York. Hosted in Times Square with thousands of people waiting in line, it felt more like a LA sized event. The kid I was sitting next to, who was probably around 14 or 15 years old, started lining up at 3:45. 3:45! For a premiere that started at 7:30. We are on some Star Wars level shit now.
I actually didn’t realize how big their team was until they called them all out on stage. Low-key big.
Marc was at the premiere, which was awesome and unexpected because I feel like we don’t get to see him much outside of California. I met up with him at a Starbucks in Midtown for coffee earlier in the day to catch up on things and also give him a heads up on the Carroll interview that was coming out. Of course, we talked for a while and we are still talking about getting his voice and other viewpoints out there.
Purposely or not, Adidas has cornered the tech ledge game in skateboarding. And I’m not talking about the boring skatepark robots that can do all those ledge tricks, I’m talkin’ bout the stylish guys like Lucas Puig, Mark Suciu and Rodrigo TX. That’s what makes me want to skate a ledge.
From a biz / marketing perspective, I think the director Matt Irving was smart by not giving Mark Gonzales a “traditional part”. Throughout the video, you are sprinkled with Gonz tricks and hijinx, before, during and after other people’s parts. It kept the video fun throughout and is a constant reminder that they have one of the most important people in skateboarding on their team, like reppin’ Run DMC or Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Cairo Foster and Dennis Busenitz. Everyone loves Dennis, but at the premiere I was surprised by a group of kids discussing his push, and how “bad” it was. I personally love his push – it reminds me of a small European soccer player unable to contain himself – like he wants to skate so fast that his feet can’t keep up with his body.
Have you noticed that skate companies love to put on new riders in pairs or trios? Sean and Sage for Converse. Gottwig, Rizzo and Jake Anderson for HUF. Crailtap had the Trunk Boys… I guess it’s just more hype if you can throw a crew together of similarly aged kids who rip. Adidas has Tyshawn Jones, Na-Kel Smith, & Miles Silva and if you weren’t sold on them in 2014, then you will be now. In only 2 years, these guys have made their way to the top of the pack – next to donut loving Daewon, you have the best of the older guard with the best of the newer guard.